Wednesday, 18 October 2017




Dark Places


Graham and Laura waved them off, calling out, take care, drive safely.  Tanya nodded, giving them a wry smile and said, of course she’d drive safely.

Tanya hated driving home late at night in the dark. Her boyfriend persuaded her it was her turn to drive so she drank lemonade and water.  It was a 40 minute drive back to their place and the weather was closing in.  The clouds scudded across the bright moon, darkening the night, the wind picked up as she turned the key in the ignition.

The small, low-slung sports car started up with its unique rumble. She felt the throb of the engine through her feet resting lightly on the pedals, up through her bottom sitting on the hard bucket seat, supposedly the best seating for this type of sports car, not for her bony bum though.  The vibration travelled up her body, down her arms reaching her fingertips gripping the steering wheel tightly. She tried to relax as she let go of the clutch and slowly drove out their friends’ driveway.

Within minutes her boyfriend, Ben, was asleep, snoring his head off.  A few beers did that to him. She wasn’t a very confident driver, add in darkness, a storm, thunder and lightning and she was a nervous wreck.  Shaking her head Tanya steeled herself for the drive home.  He must trust her driving ability to fall asleep like that.

No, it was an alcoholic stupor he was in.

She jumped out of her seat as a clap of thunder reverberated through the car.  Her heart was beating nineteen to the dozen, her grip on the steering wheel tightened, her knuckles white with the effort of controlling the car. 

Relax, relax, relax.  There’s nothing to be afraid of, it’s just a storm. 

Yeah, just a storm at nearly midnight on Halloween.  Up ahead she could see red brake lights, thank goodness there was another car on the road.  It was so eerie when she couldn't see anyone else about.  She pressed down on the accelerator, keeping an eye on the speedometer as the needle climbed steadily up.  The engine began to whine, she eased off the pedal, checked the gear stick, yep, she was in the right gear.  She looked at the road and couldn't see anything in front of her as the rain pelted down. The windscreen wipers were going at full blast, barely clearing a space for her to peer out of. 

Relax, Tanya, it’s just a storm.

She could have sworn it was her father’s voice in her mind.  That film they’d watched at their friends’ house was playing on her mind.  ‘An American Werewolf in London.’   Not a lot of plot but she was jumping all over the place at the scary bits as Graham and Ben laughed at her reactions.  Laura didn’t seem to mind the film, so Tanya went with it.

Approaching the crossroads she struggled to remember which turn to take, left or right.  She shook Ben’s leg and shook him again.  ‘Which way, Ben?’  No response.  She screamed as she shook him again.  ‘Which way?’  Tears threatened to fall from her eyes as he slowly came to.  He took in their surroundings, pointed left before he slumped and started snoring again.  She would not forget this night in a hurry.

Oh, thank goodness, a main road at last with some street lighting.  Just as Tanya relaxed a bit, bright lightning lit up the sky in front of her.  Blinding her with its intensity it forked across the road showing up the shadows in the hedgerow, she could have sworn there were figures there waiting to jump out at the car and claw their way through the soft top vinyl covering.

Relax duck, relax and concentrate on your driving.

There was her dad’s voice again.  Oh, she wished he was here.  He wouldn't have fallen asleep as a passenger.  It was so rude of her boyfriend.  Maybe Ben wouldn't last much longer.  It depends on how he treated her after this.

Now the storm moved to the side and followed her.  It shadowed the car.  It kept parallel to their route.  She could see it in her peripheral vision.  She looked to her left, past the snoring profile of the man sitting beside her, the thunder bellowed its power at her, mocking her for looking at it.  The forked lightning struck the hillside, lighting up the fields below, an eerie white light suffused her vision.  She tried to control the car as her trembling limbs juddered on the accelerator.  Her hands tensed on the wheel.  They tyres seemed to lose their grip on the road, she steered round a blind bend, just missing a lamp post on the side of the road.  The pavement reared up to meet them, she bumped over the kerb and managed to manoeuvre the car back on to the roadway. 

That was a close call.  The car stopped.  She had to get going again. The lashing rain took that moment to lessen to a drizzle and then petered out completely.  Tanya looked in the rear view mirror, it was pitch black behind her, the street lights had gone out.  She looked ahead as she slowly edged forward again. The moonlight lit up the road, the clouds had gone, the lunar glow shone clearly on the road ahead which was dry as a bone, as though the storm hadn't reached this part of the route.

Well done, darling, well done.

She parked outside their house, breathing sighs of relief.  Ben woke up, stumbled out of the car barely waiting for her to lock the vehicle and open the door with her key.  He stumbled to the sofa and instantly started snoring again.

She couldn't believe what had just happened.  OK so it was Halloween.  Did that really make such a difference?  One thing she knew, she would never drive home late at night during a storm on 31st October ever again. 

Word count: 1000
17 October 2017

Cee's Fun Foto Challenge Letter I or eye

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter I – Needs to start with the letter I 

This week is Letter I – Needs to start with the letter I.

All you need this week is a topic that starts with the letter I.  Or for those who have a hard time with the letter I, you may also use a photo of an eye, since the letter and word sound alike.

Here is my entry:

Indian restaurant

Street name

Iron Age Round House replica

Islands In The Stream theatre concert 

My Aunty IVY married Ted in 1937

Grandson’s eyes

Friday, 13 October 2017

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Indoor Walkways, Hallways, Elevators

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Indoor Walkways, Hallways, Elevators

This week the topic is 

Indoor Walkways, Hallways, Elevators, etc


Hotel corridor

Corridor - steam train

Hotel hallway

Old fashioned gated lift

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Cee's Black and White Challenge - Anything Farm Related

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: All Things Farm Related

Cee says:

This week the topic is All Things Farm Related.  

Farms can lead to many things in my mind and I sure you all have a view of what a farm is.  You can have something as simple as a pitch fork, so the view of an entire farm whether it be filled with animals or plants.  Let’s see how creative you can get with this topic.

                                          Here Is My Contribution To This Week’s Challenge


Fields and farmhouse/farm buildings in the distance

Farm entrance and barn

Tractor working the field

Pub sign – Jolly Farmer

CEE's Fun Foto - Letter G

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter G – Needs to have the letter G (log, goggle, geometry, lodge)

Friday, 29 September 2017

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Lines and Angles

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Lines and Angles

This week the topic is Lines and Angles.  Lines can either be straight or crooked.  Angles and lines can be connected together which will give us angles.  Sometimes you might just find a lot of angles.  Think about windows, frames, etc.  

Here is my entry for this week:
An old building in Tenterden High Street.  

Entrance hall Ellen Terry museum

Lock at Teston Country Park

My under stairs ‘crafty corner’ my hubby made for me – unfortunately it doesn’t look as neat nowadays!

Exhibit at the Spitfire museum

Willesborough W.I. (Women’s Institute) building

TV aerial on chimney with telegraph wires

Cephalopod Coffeehouse: September 2017

Hosted by The Armchair Squid who says: 

Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the works they enjoyed most over the previous month.  Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun. 

This is a 5* read in my opinion. I have read quite a few of Toby Neal's books and can recommend all of them.  

Here is the blurb from Amazon 

Special Agent Sophie Ang's emotions are battered by a child kidnapping case that goes badly wrong. In tracking the criminal ring, her rogue data analysis program D.A.V.I.D. identifies an anomaly that leads her into a cat-and-mouse game online with a deadly enemy whose motives are unclear. The chase lures her through dark corridors of cyberspace into a confrontation with the violence from her past that sent her fleeing to the United States. She'll need every skill she's learned to defeat her worst nightmare--and the stakes couldn't be higher. 

Can Sophie both defeat her past, and protect her heart from a fascinating cyber vigilante?


This is the first book (270 pages) in the Paradise Crime Series by Toby Neal, classed as a cyberspace thriller/police procedure mystery.

Special Agent Sophie Ang is a FBI Agent, a martial artist who has escaped an abusive marriage.  The book opens with a bang and a rescue of a kidnapped child.

This is a well written novel, fast paced, action police procedure story with layers of cyber stuff written so well that even a technophobic reader like myself can understand it without getting bogged down in ‘cyber speak.’  It is a psychological thriller as well and all the layers are woven together effortlessly.  

A great book. 

If you like police procedural/mystery/thriller books with added bits and pieces, well written prose, no jumping around, a nice flow, good pace and great characters then you will enjoy this book.